Today’s episode is a must-listen for anyone with vision problems or anyone with kids! I’m talking with Dr. Bryce Appelbaum who is on a mission to change the way we view vision. Dr. Bryce is a pioneer in neuro-optometry and the founder and CEO of VisionFirst and ScreenFit. He also works a lot with pro athletes and teams on how to improve vision (not just eyesight!).
You may be surprised to hear that vision and eyesight actually aren’t the same thing. Vision refers to our brain’s ability to communicate with our eyes and things like too much screen time, early reading, and concussions can all affect our eye’s ability to see.
Dr. Bryce also mentions how certain vision problems have likely doubled since Covid, after everyone’s screen time took a huge jump. The good news is that there are programs that help retrain the brain for better vision and vision doesn’t have to get worse with age!
I learned so much in today’s episode and it really lines up with my personal experiences and my kid’s vision struggles (and wins). I’m excited to share this with you so let’s dive in!
Episode Highlights With Dr. Appelbaum
- The misdiagnosis and missed opportunities of vision and eyecare and why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes
- Eyesight and vision are different things and need to be treated differently
- Eyesight refers to how well you can see on a chart or in a classroom
- Vision refers to how our eyes work together and how we derive meaning from the world around us
- Why vision problems are brain problems and why there is a fix for these
- Most doctors are reactive rather than proactive when it comes to vision
- All functional visual skills are learned skills
- Screens and even early reading might be contributing to eye issues
- Many vision problems are maladaptations
- How motion sickness, trouble with eye contact, resistance to reading, etc can be symptoms of vision struggles
- Vision therapy is physical therapy for the brain through the eyes… and how it works
- How vision relates to sports performance
- Over 80% of what kids learn in classrooms comes from visual inputs and many kids have things going on that interfere with optimal visual processing
- Why he believes that things like ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia are incomplete diagnoses unless vision is also evaluated
- Why it is estimated that by 2050, half of the world will be myopic
- The vast majority of motion sickness has a visual component that is treatable
- Why vision should not get worse with age unless there are functional problems that are impacting our ability to use our eyes well
- Even if someone needs glasses, prescription should not get worse each year
- Exercises to help open up periphery and improve vision
- Any brain at any age can be taught and neuroplasticity is lifelong
Resources We Mention
- ScreenFit – Use code WELLNESSMAMA for a discount
- Covd.org (vision therapy resources)
- Shift Your Mind by Brian Levenson
- Vision First – Website
- Screen Pandemic – Free Webinar